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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  September 23, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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it's the first official field trip and we have come to the library. we have politicians, education experts, a civil rights icon and a room full of students. this is education nation nerdland-style. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] hello. i am melissa harris-perry. welcome to a special education nation. edition of mhp i am thrilled ha this year for the first time we are including a student town hall. on today's program we will be focused on what matters most to students, the challenges they they face and their own ideas for solutions. this stunning room we're in is the bar toes forum in the new york public library. an historic building in midtown manhattan. the library has been open to the public for 101 years. dedicated by president william howard taft in 1911. this incredible facility with 88 miles of shelf space took 16 years to design and construct. here in the forum, we are two floors below the world famous rose main reading room with its 42 oak tables and space for 624
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readers. in the hall with me are hundreds of students ranging in age from about 13 to 25. they are here from all over the country. for the next two hours, we will hear from many of them. to help with that task, two of my colleagues from nbc news are in the house. working one side of the room is maura shaf campo. >> good morning, melissa. >> on the other side is luke russert. >> good morning, professor, how are you? >> good to see you. they're making their way around the room for people who want to ask questions of the panelists or respond to something we've heard. once we turn to the audience portion of the questions, you go got to flag down maura or luke. since we have a room full of young people we want you to know for today, it is okay to text in class. whether you are here in the room or at home, please make sure
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that you have your voices heard. for regular viewers of the show, you know you can tweet using the hash tag nerdland or today we have a twitter hash tag #ed natsth for this event. we want to hear your questions. more than anything else, your ideas for solutions. so is everybody ready to get poppin? [ applause ] we have a lot to get to. let's dive right in. given that we're at the height of the presidential campaign season, we're going to get started with a little bit of politics first. congressman george miller from california is the house ranking member of the education and workforce committee. he's here today to represent the obama for america campaign. thanks for being here. >> thank you. thank you for the invite. >> we also have william hanson, education policy adviser to mitt
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romney and co-chair of the romney higher education advisory group. the former secretary of education under president george w. bush and one of the architects of no child left behind. welcome to you, bill. thanks for being here. i want to start with the education news that i think most people in the country have been following most recently. that was the teachers strike in chicago and the standoff that left students not in the classroom for more than a week and has led to concession, i think, on both sides. congressman what is your take away from what we saw in chicago? >> i think you see the beginning of a struggle of people coming to grasp with the fact that because of the race to the top, where states like chicago took money from the federal government, they have to improve their education system and one of the requirements is the use of data and the use of data related to teacher evaluation. states are handling this in a different fashion. chicago, the teachers knew and the district knew that
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evaluations were a matter of state law. now they're coming together to try to figure out how to work that out. it's happening in california, in connecticut, in massachusetts and trying to figure out how do we best evaluate teachers as to their effectiveness. not to whether they're popular or nice but are they effective in the classroom in conveying the knowledge that the students should learn. are they working to create a teaching and learning environment. that's a tough job. because you're dealing with individuals with a lot of moving parts in every classroom. it's really ignited across the country and chicago is a manifestation of how the sides are coming together around that. the fact is they did agree to a evaluation. they did agree to use the data and working out the details. >> certainly this issue, the evaluation issue is at the core of much of what we'll talk about in school reform. surprising surprisingly, where the two camps are often in agreement, which is the use of these sort of tests, high stakes tests for
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evaluation. would you agree that both the romney campaign and the obama campaign are advocates of this sort of testing. >> yeah. i think there are a lot of similarities and using data to help us improve student achievement. it's not just the year-end testing, it's the ongoing testing to make sure the diagnostics are being met. it's frankly a mixed bag. i think the congressman is right there was good progress made the first time that they'll be able to use student achievement in the evaluation process. i think it could have been more. i do think they fell short in not having merit pay to be part of the process to be reward teachers. it was a mixed bag in the results. the most important thing is they extended the school day ten years to get to the national norm but lost ten days in the strike. that was very unfortunate. to have 350,000 kids not in the classroom had they should have been. >> let me push back. given that there is a fair bit of agreement on evaluation of
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teachers and of students using this high-stakes testing. it feels to me like what we know for certain, high stakes testing does or even low-stakes testing, what we certainly know is that testing mechanisms provide profit margins for those who create the tests. there are -- there's private industry that makes a good deal of money for making sure that there are federal and state and local requirements that young people and teachers be assessed. i think we're much less clear about whether or not those outcomes tell us anything about how the young people end up performing later in life. is there some way that the folks who are running for office at the very top, the presidential campaigns, can get us focused away from the things that are profit-driven and towards the things that are fundamentally about what measures what students are capable of in. >> for the last 10 tore 15 years, 25 years, 50 years, the american education system has been using lousy tests to determine how students are doing. to take the results of those
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tests and predict anything about a teacher, about a student is really worthless. now with the leadership of the governors, we're moving to common core standards which will be internationally bench marked, the curriculum will look like what high-performing nations and where we're not succeeding. the assessments will check a multiple choice question, they will be writing essays, demonstrating, applying the knowledge they were supposed to learn, whether in science or math or literature. it will be a broader assessment of how that student is doing. that will be used. that's very different than what we've been doing under no child left behind. very, very different and those were very bad tests and most of the states were lying about the results of the tests. >> the congressman is saying yes, we're talking about testing but race to the top testing is different than no child left behind testing. >> it's important to go back to the testing is the day-to-day
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testing. that's important for students from a diagnostic standpoint. the high stakes testing and other testing is important. parents need the information to make good choices about where they're sending their children to school and to hold people accountable. if we don't have that data, it's going to be difficult. we have this data available in the medical field where you can pick your doctor, you can pick your auto mechanic, all types of service providers this your world, but we don't have that data available. so i do think this data is incredibly important for us as we measure schools, measure teachers, measure students. i think this ongoing data is very important. >> let me suggest another thing i'd tlof hear from either candidate, either a campaign. schools are not quite like a doctor, right? public schools do all kinds of things for a neighborhood when they exist in our -- i know that both of you have children, although adult children, who you had the privilege of sending through public schools. you could sort of move into a
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place and send your kids to school. that was the experience that i had as a kid. can our presidential candidates and i'd love to hear what each candidate would say about this, begin to move us towards a place where every parent, every parent can confidently send their child to the local neighborhood school and be certain that they are getting high quality education? >> absolutely. but i think it's important that in a lot of our inner sticities and cities we have a dropout rate. the civil rights issue of our time is what it's called. the public school systems, we've got to build it up. the governor's proposal to build up the k-12 system is important. it's important to give parents the choice to send their kids to a public school, private school, after school help, online help. we do this in the pell grant program. very monumental shift to make the pell grants attach to the backs of the students and not to
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the institution. that is incredibly important and it disrupted the higher education system where it propelled us to develop the best system, university system throughout the '70s and '80s. those moneys were available to students going to southern methodist or notre dame. >> sure. let me push back just a bit. it's always only going to be a small proportion of america who go off to college and attaching the money to the student for -- to go to southern methodist or princeton has a different impact than mr. romney's proposal to attach the money to the students in the local communities. if the money follows the students and the student leaves, you can hollow out whole neighborhood making it impossible for those who don't have the choice toss have the kinds of schools i was talking about. that seems to be the outcome of the privatization of the romney administration would be. >> overwhelming demand of parents is not some abstract notion that they will have a voucher and send their children off to st. stephens or
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something. the overwhelming desire of parents is to have their neighborhood school operate at a high level of performance and effectiveness on behalf of their children. that's the goal. we know that poorly performing schools, we know schools poorly performing for ten years and five years and that hasn't been addressed. what we've learned from the charter school movement, learned from educational experimentation in different forms, is the children trapped in those schools can learn. >> oh, absolutely. >> so then once you have that knowledge, your failure to provide the means by which the children can take advantage of the education is a very serious civil rights issue. i have a problem with the romney campaign. this is a civil rights issue of our time. as vice presidents cutting 15% of the budget for poor and minority children and for handicapped children. what about their civil rights. >> we're going to come back to the issues as we return. newsweek magazine ran a cover story asking this question. "is college a lousy investment?" i'm going to ask each of you in
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the room here the same question. during this town hall, you're going to be using clickers. hopefully you've got a clicker that was provided by technologies an education company that donated some software for us today. we want instant responses from you. you'll find your clicker on the back of your chair. you have it. of course you do. i'll ask you a question and you'll be able to hit the button to answer a multiple choice test. this is not high-stakes testing. we're interested in what you're thinking about. is college worth the cost and the debt? press a for yes. b for no and c i don't know. take a moment, think about it. plug in your answer. we'll have the results of our instant polal and more with campaign representatives right after the break. ♪
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we're back with our special education nation edition of mph. [ applause ] we are back. before the break, we asked our audience is college today worth the cost and the debt? let's see what you thought. 75% of you thought yes, college is worth the cost of tuition and debt that you may face upon graduation. i'm a college professor. 11% of you thought it was not worth it and 15% aren't sure yet. i'm convinced that it's worth every penny. let's dig a little deeper on this issue. i want to bring in mara skaf campo. >> good morning. when it comes to student debt, the numbers are staggering.
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nationwide student debt is at $914 billion. many people seem to have trouble making those payments. 5.9 million americans are at least 12 months behind in making those payments and once they start to fall behind, it can be a slippery slope. nearly one in six borrowers is in default. this is an issue that clearly affects a lot of people. i'm joined by a senior here in new york in high school. said's mother was in college and had to drop out yet she's still paying student loans. she has a question for the guests. >> i'd like to if pell grants and low-interest financial aid will be available next year so i won't have to drop out like my mother did? >> pell grants will continue to be available. we had originally indexed them. the republican congress changed that so they're not indexed to grow with the cost of college. the loans will continue to be available. we voted in the congress after a
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little bit of a fight to keep the interest rates low instead of having them almost double in july of this year. unfortunately, the schedule under the ryan/romney budget to double to 6.5%. that's unfortunate. but the fact of the matter is, if students manage how they go to college, if you think about layering yourself in, going to a community college, four-year school, graduate school, it becomes somewhat more affordable. if you manage how you use that money. fortunately, when you graduate college, we've put in place under president obama a repayment system which means you start a career, you don't have the best paycheck when you begin. you pay a percentage of what you earn. you earn more, you pay more. so that the college loan doesn't become such a burden that you can't afford rent or can't afford health care or the other things that you need. as you progress in that career, you can do that. if you go into public service, you want to be a district attorney, a doctor, nurse in the
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public service, your loans are forgiven after ten years. >> i want to turn to luke russert out in the audience with another question from a guest. luke, ho who is with you? >> i'm with emily carpenter. she's a high school senior in new york city. she has question about standardized tests. >> my question is do you think it's fair to tie student achievement so close to standardized testing especially when so many barriers exists such as poverty and geographic location and what plan of action or course of action do you plan to take to address the barriers that can adversely affect a student's education? >> that's a great question. standardized testing should never be the determining factor. i have six kids. i have a senior right now. it needs to be a factor, but there are other factors. i would like to get back to the other question too whether college is affordable and whether you should go. absolutely the answer is yes.
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if a high school graduate will make on average $30,000 a year throughout their life. a college graduate makes $56,000 a year throughout your life. the earning potential that you have is absolutely very much worth it. the average debt of somebody coming out of college right now is about $26,000. that's about the difference of what you will make throughout your life in one year if you go to college. it's absolutely important. i would like to take one issue here that governor romney absolutely has supported the interest rate reduction. nothing in his plan is suggesting anything otherwise. also, it's important to note, what we are facing is an incredible national debt. in addition to the $26,000 that an average college graduate is facing, you're facing another 2 5 $2,000 per individual, if you do the math and dividing the number of people in the country by the $16 trillion debt. we have to get our budget process under control which might mean tough decisions and streamlining.
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pell grants will be available at their current level. student loans will be available to help gu to school and anybody that tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth. >> great. we are out of time for our campaign surrogates. emily, i don't want to lose your question as we go away from this segment. i think it's a critical question. i promise we will come back to the issues you raised about the challenges that are facing students outside of the issue of the classroom. but my thanks at this point to congressman george miller and to william hansen for joining us today. when we come back, what does it take to go from a homeless shelter to the ivy league? a young woman with the answer and that's next. [ applause ] eighth grader and rethinker in louisiana. teachers and administrators put a lot of pressure on students. when students test in academics, it's usually random problems. give them an opportunity to relate that back to what they go through. like in a grocery store, how do
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they calculate what they would need. that's math. that's academics. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. add a tablet for only $10 per month. the more data you share, the more you save. at&t.
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and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. [ applause ] sometimes when we talk about the challenges of the education system, we ignore the profound challenges that the students face. it's not easy to learn reading, writing and arithmetic on an empty stomach or to study when you have no room of your own. every once in a while an extraordinary young person overcomes her path and uses her voice to remind us how tough the path to success can be. >> i'm ebony boykin. i'm 18 years old. i grew up in maryland,
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louisiana, mississippi and missouri. i've been to about 14, 15 different schools altogether. we're pretty much homeless most of my childhood. we were usually sleeping on other people's floors or in different homeless shelters. there are many times i had to study and i was hungry. i would say food was even more so an issue when we weren't in the shelters anymore. at least there they feed you. when i was older and was able to ask my mom, she would say i didn't make the right decisions and i didn't stay in school. if do you this, things can be better for you. i took that and ran with it. that's what helped me stay focused. i was a varsity cheerleader. the chief editor of the newspaper. i wanted to go to college and i realized that a lot of people who did that did not come from the background i had. there was always an attitude of you know, we're not the group of people that would be assumed to go to college. i'm a first-year at columbia
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university. i found out i got in and i screamed and yelled. my mom was in the parking lot because she knew i was finding out at that exact moment. i ran out to her in the parking lot and we jumped and screamed. it's a lot more amazing than i could have imagined coming to school here. my view of education has definitely changed since i've been here at columbia. it teaches you that what you think matters, first of all. and then that you should always have an opinion. because what you say, your voice is important. i think just knowing that and sort of just building on that every day makes you the kind of person that can create your own path. >> i am excited because ebony boykin is here with us today. ebony, come on up for a moment. [ applause ] >> so obviously, your story is an extraordinary one.
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but it occurs to me that what you had to overcome, no student should even have to face. we heard emily ask a question earlier about how education policy can take into account the tough circumstances students face. what would be the thing you had would say schools need to do, to take into account situations like yours? >> i think a school should be considerate. i think there is sort of an attitude of we overlook your life at home. even so just in the culture of family. whatever happens in this house stays in this house. i think being more open with your teachers, with the faculty about what's going on in your life so that they can be considerate and i found that at the schools where i wasn't keeping it a secret what i was going through i did better. the teachers knew what i was going through and were understanding. i felt like the attitude of openness would really help. >> it's a presidential election year, if you had one thing to say to president obama or to candidate romney, what would you
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say? >> wow. i would tell them to o keep education at the forefront. just treat it as more important than it seems like it's been treated. i know it's always talked b but i feel it's one of the most important things. it's about the young people, we're the future of the country. if you leave us behind and not give us the attention that we deserve, then naturally things won't get better in our country. >> ebony thank you so much for joining us. [ applause ] i understand you may want to be a journalist. you have an open invitation to join us at nerdland any time you'd like. >> thank you. we're going straight to the heart of the matter. parents and students choosing the best schools for them sounds right, but is the push causing more harm than good. that's next. [ applause ] dry mouth may start off as an irritant.
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northrop grumman. enrollment in almost half of the nation's largest school districts has decreased since 2005. but the number of charter schools has exploded. especially in urban areas. increasing 9% in just the last two years. now, the popular argument is that school choice provides the necessary competition to lift all boats. but various studies show that charters are not performing any better than our nation's other public schools. with me is jonathan alter, a columnist for bloomberg view and msnbc contributor. darell bradford, executive director of the better education for kids. and lily he is kel sen, vice president of the education
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association and former utah teacher of the year. julian vasquez associate professor of education policy at the university of texas at austin and a former charter school teacher and a current parent of a charter school student. thank you all for being here. >> thanks for having us. darell, you hung out with me on mhp show previously. i promised to have you back for the school choice fight. make the school choice argument for me. >> i think the first thing that's really important is that people like me or very smart people unlike me are sort of constantly dividing schools up into chutes, right? we talk about them by kinds. we say traditional district school, a magnet school you test into, we have a charter school, private school, whatever. i think there are really only two kinds of schools. there are schools you want to send people you love to and there's schools that you don't want to. i want to really simplify this. when we talk about like charter schools and some of them are great or some aren't, the good thing about charter schools is that they create more good
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schools. that's the effort, that's the purpose. so i want to start there. the second thing, i think, i heard congressman miller say this earlier. would be far easier, trust me, this is not fun stuff to talk about. it would be far easier for people to go to the neighborhood school and have it be great. that's not the reality. there are tons of places in america where it is and tons of places it isn't. we have tons of schools that are down the street from schools that are working of various types, why we shouldn't align public policy that way. >> that reality that there are schools that are working and others that aren't and they're right next to each other has been an experience, part of the american experience for a long time. the initial reaction was integration. the big reason they were different was because of segregation. i'm wondering if school choice actually enhances these separations, these differences. >> if a doctor gave me a pill
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and said, you have a 17% chance of getting better if i swallow this pill, would we go that's all you got? that's charter schools. a stanford study showed 17% actually are those better schools. and we have a lot we can learn from those. we're not against charter schools, but the national education association. we want all schools to be as good as the best school. what we -- what concerns us is kind of a bait and switch. let's talk about vouchers or charter schools so we don't have to talk about class size so we don't have to talk about how are you training your teachers, so you don't have to talk about are all kids getting a broad curriculum with the arts, with literature or are you just making sure it fits on a standardized test. >> that's something you and i have had many impassioned conversation cans about this. i wonder about this choice. what is it about a piece of paper that is a charter that
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somehow would make the school 17% more likely to perform at a higher level. >> it doesn't. charters by themselves are not any kind of a cure-all. magic pill. but the highly performing charters, like the kip schools for instance, about 110 of them, it's the highly performing charters are schools that all schools can learn from. so what i'd like to see more of is sharing of best practices between those charter schools that are working and some of them don't work. many don't work. the ones that work, they have like 90, 95% graduation rates in very impoverished neighborhoods. these are terrific schools. so the idea of lumping those schools in with the one that is don't work and saying, let's cap the number of charter schools in our state, which has been the nea's position. that's fol i. why cap experimentation when you can get an outstanding school by
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letting a thousand flowers bloom. >> here's why you cap. here's why you cap charters. 83% of them do not perform better than the traditional urban schools. you raise kip. an interesting thing about kip. we push published a study about them talking specifically about african-american students. 40% left there in texas over the last ten years. >> you're cherry picking bogus statistics. no offense. >> wait, wait. okay. so we have -- >> won't let you dis kip's -- >> i will. since it's my show. no, no. i'm not going to allow anyone to dis anyone on this program. what i am going to say is that we do have to deal with data and that those data are not as easily demonstrative jonathan as would you suggest. that they just show that kip schools always perform. we talked earlier about the very idea of what tools are we using to measure assessment and i
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don't think that julian is dissing kip schools. he's offering additional data. everybody hold on right there. a family that says school choice is no cure-all. when you take a closer look... the best schools in the world... see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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started school, she found the statistics and ratings were out of date. in fact, the education department was planning to close the school. is this what choice looks like? i am pleased that ms. annual a guest is in the audience with us i thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to ask, for you, you did all of the things that an involved parent is supposed to do. where does it leave you right now in terms of how you feel about school choice sm. >> i still love the school that i chose for my daughter. i found out that the school was -- the statistics were outdated for a couple years and the school is improving, it's now a b-plus rating. i'm happy with the choice that i used for picking for my daughter. >> absolutely. thank you so much for being the kind of parent that you are. let me ask this question. as much as ms. guest is an extraordinary parent who did everything that she is meant to do, the idea of having to search for eight months for a middle school feels like we're putting an enormous burden on parents.
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often parents who have the fewest resources and also meaning that if a young lady or a young man doesn't have a parent like ms. guess, what are the options? what are the choices for them? >> so i can't remember his name. there's a professor who did a study about the d.c. voucher program and how parents were choosing. what he found is that like rich, poor or otherwise, but in this case, people who were eligible to participate in the program. these are low income families living in the district. they develop, very, very, very sophisticated networks to talk about school quality. just like rich people do. in the beginning, it starts with there is one person that you know and that person knows what school is good. in the end, it stops with when am i getting my student data, how is everybody performing versus the district. when parents are making choices in the beginning, they're making them based on very basic needs like most people make decisions
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about. is my kid going to be safe and they're making sophisticated decisions because of vocabulary about choices improve dramatically. >> sure. i'm agreement that parents with few resources can nonetheless be extraordinary parents in terms of decision-making, the sophistication of it. i wonder, what if your parent is incarcerated, has low literacy skills himself or herself. i'm wondering about how choice operates there. my mom was a highly educated person but she sent us to school. we walked across the street to the school. the school served everyone. >> one of the questions that comes up too is why is that that charters serve -- much less likely to serve english language learners. we had one principal tell us they're not set up as a bilingual school. of course we know in texas, arizona, california, latino populations are growing rapidly.
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if charters and choice are not set up to make that information exchange to parents that they understand what's out there for them, of course, we're going to see english language learners, much more or less likely to enroll in charters, latinos to have higher attrition. i think that's an important consideration. >> lily? >> i taught in salt lake city at a homeless shelter school. i taught some of the most disadvantaged families with not even a roof over their heads. with my association, the utah education association, which is an affiliate of the nea, we could see that some of these kids needed something very, very different. but what we wanted to focus on was how do you make every public school as good as the best public school. because that's the real answer that no one wants to deal with. we want every school to be a school of choice. we've really worked hard to make choices within the public system something that was meaningful
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for those families. so we get concerned when we stop talking about how do you make the system better, how do you make every school a choice school? when you get into private management and someone has to make a profit off of it and here's a franchise school, then we get very worried. then you're ignoring the bigger system where most of our kids, especially our kids in need are going to go. >> it breaks my heart to do this. i'm going to give you the last word. i want to ask you on exactly this issue of when there is profit motivation involved, doesn't that sort of corrupt what we're about in this public education? >> i agree with almost everything that you said. i'm concerned about too much profit motivation involved. but i think there's a lot of misunderstanding and some of it is fostered by the nea and some by the organizations and make it seem as if charter schools are not public schools.
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they are public schools. when they are managed by outsiders, they are managed by the vast majority of cases by nonprofits, not profit making outfits and there's been kind of a myth created that these rich people want to come in and suck a lot of money out of these schools and the reason that corporations and hedge fund managers are involved here is to make a buck. a lot of the hedge fund managers who are involved in education are not trying to make -- they have so much money anyway, this is not a profit opportunity for them. honestly, what they're interested in, i'm as condition tempt us of what they did to -- the reason that some of the rich folks are interested in school reform issues is they're -- they're genuinely worried about the workforce of the future, the same interests that all of us have. if they're not trend, they won't be able to make money for them. there are other companies. it's not, there's a myth that's being created that somehow
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private interests are trying to suck money out of these schools. charter schools are not profit, for profit private schools. they're not. public schools. >> they're publicly funded. i think that's part of the anxiety for some of us. >> we certainly know that there is plenty of profit in the current education system, particularly in testing and compliance with -- >> and food and all the things. >> right. >> sure, sure. >> all the things that a rich person in one of the hedge fund managers really cares about the education of poor kids when they care about their health care. >> on that, we have decided to wrap up with the grownups. because when we come back, it is time for all of you to weigh in. we've got more than 300 young people in this room. we're going to hear from them. shush old people, shush. young people are coming. [ applause ] hi i'm daniel. >> i'm paige. have you seen the school lunches these days?
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they're terrible. >> not to mention they're unhealthy. >> yeah. but how can we fix this predicame predicament? >> schools could have their own gardens and grow their own fruits and veggies organically. >> yeah. they could get food local and farmers markets and stuff. >> and they can buy beans and rice in bulk so that it's cheaper. >> it tastes good, too. ♪ keys, keys, keys, keys, keys. ♪ well, he's not very handsome ♪ to look at [ sighs ] ♪ oh, he's shaggy ♪ and he eats like a hog [ male announcer ] the volkswagen jetta. available with advanced keyless technology. control everything from your pocket, purse, or wherever. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ that dirty, old egg-suckin' dog ♪
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[ applause ] let's get a little student reaction to the debate we've been having on school choice. we asked you to send tweets using the #nerdland. from we have one that said i go to a pretty advanced school and thinks she gets the same education. profit tearing public schools are handcuffed. charters come in, remove the cuffs, claim success.
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filter the students. i'm here with richard from queens. he has a question about alternative curriculum. about school choice in regards to schools that think outside of the box. >> yes. i wanted to know, for students who do more open-minded thinking rather than recitation from textbooks, will we be seeing better implementation of free thought in our schools instead of just reading what's on a paper and telling you to recite it over and over again? >> in this whole debate on charter schools or voucher schools, we're for getting there's incredibly creative programs in our public schools that didn't mean people had to shut it down and reopen it. we're doing things in my home state, there was a high school that said we're going to be a magnet school for finance as a prep school for kids going into that field.
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at oyster school in d.c., a public school that's not a private charter. they have a bilingual program not only to teach english language learners english, to each english students who want to be bilingual in spanish. reaching out to a community saying what do you want special for your kids. literature programs, not just things geared to a test. people want teachers to care about what students care about. to make it relevant to them. and that's happening all over in public schools. >> thank you, lily. thanks to our panel. jonathan alter, did he rel bradford, lily he is kel son and julian vasquez high leg. we'll hear more from you in the room and introduce the student panel. everyone grab your clickers. we want your response to this question? what is your primary focus of your education.
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toa, learn how to learn. to get into college, c, to prepare for a yob job or d, to n how to be a citizen. the results for the town hall for this special edition of mhp when we return. [ applause ] if we want to improve our schools... ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ...nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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all by cob. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice. go national. go like a pro. [ applause ] welcome everyone to the first ever education nation student town hall. i'm melissa harris-perry. today we're coming to you from the new york public library in
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midtown manhattan. here in the bar toe forum room i'm joined with a fantastic student panel that you're going to meet in just a moment. around the room, we have an even more fantastic group of some of our nation's finest young people. students from all over the country. students, are you ready to get on a poppin? [ applause ] that's the reaction i want to hear. because we're now going to hear from you. we're going to get microphones to as many of you as possible throughout the hour. nbc news correspondents, mara schaf campo and luke russert? >> they're looking for folks to get into the discussion or you can be heard via twitter. if you watch the show, you already know that our show's hash tag is nerdland. you can use the hash tag ed natsth especially for the
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student town hall. whether you're here or watching at home, we want to hear from you. as we search for solutions to the big questions about american education, we're turning to students. joining me is a 14-year-old from redmond, washington. who is a high school junior. she's an author of three books. i said that. and is also an international teacher, speaker and international activist. carlos cruz from pasadena, california. carlos dropped out of high school, eventually returned and now works with at-risk youth to keep them on the right path. over here, next to me is jennifer earlyman, an 18-year-old college senior at the university of arizona. on the other side of me is -- i keep saying amazing things. we have a high school student who has a new book. one size does not fit all. a student's assessment of school. angie flores, a freshman at miami-dade community college. you might recognize her. a couple of weeks ago, she
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introduced dr. jill biden at the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. let me give you the results of the poll we took a few moments ago in in room. when asked what the purpose of a high school education is. 26% of you said to learn how to learn. >> 51% said get into college. 12% said prepare for a job. good. because there are none. 10% said how to learn to be a citizen. now back to my panel. folks, i want to start with you. adore a, you have a talk that's titled what adults can learn from kids. in the area of education, what can adults learn from kids? >> i really feel like it's essential to have students as entering the conversation like we're doing today. we really are largest stakeholders in education. adults can learn about creativity, impulsivity, taking action. as well as how to be empathetic to the lives that we go through as students. >> i really like that
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creativity, impulsivity and empathy. carlos, are these ideas, particularly this idea of empathy, mrg what students are going through, is that part of the work you're doing with at risk youth. >> definitely is the kind of work i'm doing with at-risk youth. coming from the background that most of these kids are going through helps you understand where they're coming from. most of the times you realize that these kids are going through hardships that schools don't understand. i think that the most important thing that is missing from an educational area is basically relationship. i think schools are lacking in learning how to build a relationship with the student as the customer to provide a better education. >> i like this language much relationship. it's one of my favorite things as a teacher. having relationships with students. luke, you have a student with you right now. what are your questions over there? >> you caught me tweeting right there. >> there you go. you're allowed to tweet in this
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class. >> audience, we have mable who has a comment about subsidized student loan interest rates, which was a hot button issue on capitol hill earlier in the summer. what did you want to say? >> in 2007, george w. bush signed a bill to cut interest rates in half until 2013. but low interest rates are set to expire july 1st going back to 6.8 as opposed to the current 3.4%. it just baffles me that teu dents like myself who have to take out loans, have to not know what to expect next year if the bill isn't passed or isn't extended for a little bit longer. >> it's an interesting point, professor. you have children's futures literally in the hands of elected politicians who use it as a wedge issue year to year. we all know that one of the reasons is on the wrong side of student loan reform in election year. is that fair to kids that their future is always up like a ball all the time in. >> it's a great question.
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particularly this issue about uncertainty. you were both talking about empathy. you all -- you were -- angie, you were at the dnc talking about the importance of community colleges and of colleges. how does the student loan question impact the kind of choices that you make as a young person thinking about higher education. >> it's a major impact for it. because i have students in my college and i'm constantly surrounded by that this affects 100%. it affects whether they go to school or whether they decide i can't afford school. i'll have to take up a regular job somewhere else. i won't be able to go on and reach that goal that i have to get my education. that is a major impact. when individuals see this, they need to take the students' lives into consideration because these are our lives. and the fact that we can't reach our goals because we can't pay for school is horrible. >> feels like there is something
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missing in this country. when students with the capacity, the drive and desire are unable to meet dreams because of money. mara, let me go to you. you have another young person. >> perfect segue. he's beginning the college application process but he's concerned about how his socioeconomic background might be a barrier to education. >> as a senior applying to different colleges, my dream school is ut and usc. i've taken full advantage much my high school over classes. i've won the distinguished honor in this city of numerous awards. i still feel that. because of my background, because of maybe the size of my pocket i might not be enough. i think that the argument that you're getting a lot of choices. you take full advantage of them. that might not be enough. i think that's something i'm concerned with. everybody in this room that even
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if we try our best to mind our business. >> there's still enough opportunities given financial restriction? >> also, i love that u.t. is one of your dream schools. we had a panelist, julian. maybe you should try to grab him before he goes out. remind him it's your dream school. >> one size does not fit all education, i've taken advantage of all the choices. what does that feel like or having that play out for students? >> one of the most important things we have to focus on is letting kids become the -- teachers teach, give them enough pay and autonomy. let the students be students and have the opportunity to mold and shape their education. >> yeah. [ applause ] that one got applause.
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>> you know, what i can certainly say, as someone who taught at multiple universities. sometimes i have students with high test scores and some are not so high. you indicated that drive in interest and in education, in this room so many of you are still interested in learning for the purposes of learning of becoming good citizens. i think those are the things that make a college classroom so much better. everyone i want you to hang tight just a bit. we're just getting started. when we come back, the way to keep students in school. [ applause ] >> my name is matthew. i'd like to discuss some of the problems in our education system. a simple solution is to update the way we teach our students. some teachers do not even know how to open internet explorer and search google. integrate computers this their learning experience and make school a place where students want to go. not just a place they have to. in america today we're running out of a vital resource we need
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[ applause ] welcome back to our education nation student town hall. i'd like to start by bringing in my colleague, nbc news correspondent luke russert. he's out in the audience with information for us on school dropout rates. >> it's interesting melissa, with the status dropout rates with the number of 24-year-olds with high school credential. that was 8.3% as of 2010.
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3.3 million young people who have dropped out of school. an alarmingly high number. there is some good, however. there is some silver lining here. we noticed that in the last year since 2010, the amount of kids who actually finished high school is 73.4%. so that's the highest level of completion since the late 1970s. someone who did complete that is with me right now. the great denzel perry. he's an extraordinary young man from compton, california. he lost members of his family to gang violence, was surrounded by a lot of difficult circumstances yet is now a freshman at the university of california irvine and wants to become a judge someday. tell us about your amazing story of overcoming all obstacles, what it took and what is the message you want to give to everyone here today who could face similar circumstances as you did. >> good evening everyone. first off, i wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the boys
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and girls club. i'm a product of the boys and girls club since the anyone of six. [ applause ] >> let's give them a round of applause. great organization. >> and the organization has literally motivated and shaped me to the man i am today. it enabled me to reach object stack als. achieve my goals and aspirations and continue to push me today. now representing the pacific region for boys and girls club of america. literally, throughout my life there's been a lot of obstacles and challenges. growing up in a community where it's assessed measured by the amount of cars you drive rather than academic accomplishments. growing up in a community where your mother works two full-time jobs to provide a roof over your head. this was something going on in my life, even have to walk down the streets and getting shot at and running into the boys and girls club gates. where the staff risked their life to protect mine. if it wasn't for that organization, i wouldn't be standing here today. they continue to push me even
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within my education endeavors. i want to encourage all students to take advantage of their after-school programs, take advantage of the programs that's available in their community because every 26 seconds one student drops out of school. because of that statistic, the boys and girls club service, 4500 boys and girls club serving millions of kids daily. and i know that it's 4.5 million kids today that's not going to drop out of school and some 4.5 million kids in this world that has goals of post secondary education and so i just want to encourage them to press forward and be involved in whatever they can do. because my life great future started at the boys and girls club. >> what denzel is touching on something we haven't spoken about. while there's certainly a lot of issues at school, having a safe place to go once the school day is complete is so very important that can really mean the difference in a lot of kids' lives. example 1a here.
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let's give denzel another round of applause. what an extraordinary guy. [ applause ] >> carlos, i want to give you a moment to respond. we've heard denzel's story, ebony boykin's story earlier in the show. these individual stories of amazing success, we have to applaud them. we heard that structures matter, opportunities matter. >> definitely structure matters. i think the most important thing when you come from a middle class family, you're run on a schedule. you have a schedule. you go to tutoring, you come home, you have practice, you have family time. when you come from poverty, there is no schedule. you're the manager of your own schedule. what ends up happening is the interest of a young person who is managing their own schedule, i was more interested in going to soccer practice than on doing my homework. i didn't have that person telling me that i had to do my homework, that i had to do this and that. but structure, it's key. so that's why in the line of work that i do now i'm a mentor and my official job title is a
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chaser. what i do is i chase kids into school. >> ah. >> it's very interesting work. it started because i was a dropout. i understand and i can put myself in their shoes and walk that line and understand what they're going through. yeah, i chase them in and i manage their schedules. because i know that no one else might not be there to do it or their parent might not have the time to do it. structure is key. >> thank you so much to carlos as well as to denzel. we're going to give you guys one more poll to take. this one will bring up a lot in the next segment. what do you think about computers in the classroom? are they essential, useful, neutral, a small distraction or harmful? when we come back, the results and a look at a new program that could revolutionize the way the classroom works. [ applause ] are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪
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before the break i asked our audience if compute irs in the classroom are essential, useful, neutral a small distraction or harmful? here are the results. 38% said essential. 40% useful. 13 said neutral and 6% say that those computers are a small distraction. 3% of them are like this is just harmful. whatever your opinion approximate technology in schools, you can't argue with this fact. the digital upgrade of our nation's classroom is big business. last year "the new york times" reported sales of computer software to schools for classroom use at $1.89 billion in 2010. spending on hardware estimated at five times that amount. is our investment in classroom technology paying off for students? our colleagues at weekend nightly news found one school in arizona the answer at least seems to be yes. >> it's a big open space with hundreds of cubicles.
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fingertips racing across keyboards. but this is no office. >> thank you for settling down. >> this is carp a diem. a charter school that opened seven years for students in grades 6 through 12. >> this is my seventh grade language arts course. >> all students spend two-thirds of the day completing course work and listening to online lectures. mad to core subjects like math and science, there's also a wide range of electives. >> red means that you're behind and you need to catch up. green means that you're head in your courses. >> monitoring their own progress, students have the ability to move ahead once a task is complete. >> for history, if i'm good, i can move faster. >> or sen extra time on more challenging subjects. >> i feel less pressure. i don't have to compare myself to other people. >> the experience isn't just about computer-based learning. students spend time in classrooms where they participate in group workshops
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and can have one-on-one time with teachers. >> a student who doesn't understand, say, dividing fractions, they've listened to the lecture on the computer but they still don't get it, they can come to the workshop and ask our math teacher, please explain this another way. >> you have on your computer learning and then you have classroom learning, two different styles. but they fit together really well. >> with just four academic teachers, organizers say it's cost effective too. still, there are critics. >> the integration of technology into the classrooms is very scattered. there simply is not enough research. >> teachers are quick to point out this time of blended learning is not for everyone. test results are encouraging. 90% of students at carpe diem are proficient in core subjects compared to 70% statewide. >> i enjoy the new style of learning. >> isaac and two of his siblings attended the school where textbooks and live lectures aren't all that's missing.
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>> no homework policy. >> that probably makes you feel really sad. >> oh, it's tragic. so tragic. >> mom and dad say this approach teaches more than academics. >> there's going to be a point in their lives where they have to pace themselves. there will be no teacher over them. >> it's not like a high school where you go to class, you have to grab this and take advantage of it. >> lessons that go beyond the classroom, equipping students with the ability to seize success. >> rehema ellis, nbc news, yuma, arizona. >> all right. one of the members of our panel, jennifer earlman is a graduate of carpe diem. i got to tell you, when i saw this, i wanted to pass out. it really stressed me out as a traditional teacher to see a classroom that looks like that. you make the case to me for why you think it's a great place to go to school. >> honestly, you get to go at your own pace. you're not held back by students who aren't moving as quickly as you are. you're able to get ahead of your
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game. you're able to work through the tedium of certain lessons that you're like oh, my gosh, i already know this. i've been through this before, we learned this last year. you give a child a computer and you give them the world. essential essentially, what you're doing is here is all of the information that the they've come up, so now i'm giving you the tools to go and get the information and to internalize that yourself. >> any reactions from folks on the panel? >> one of the most important things you have to remember is that technology is a tool. i mean, right now if you look at that classroom, i mean, the best way to learn something is not through a lecture. it's through doing something x exploring, creating. that's when the real learning happens. we need to move to that. bring in technology and social media. but we need that human interaction. teachers right now are going to be turning to facilitators and it's going to turning into project-based learning and hands-on activities and going in the world and doing it.
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that's how learning needs to happen. that's not really the right model. >> any other reaction toss what you saw there? >> i think it's a great plan for middle class people. this will never work for drob dropout. you can't expect them to learn in front of a computer. you got to build that relationship. it all falls back to relationship. if you don't have a relationship with your teachers or mentors or tutors, they won't do any work on a computer. >> maura, i understand you have a student interested in these issues. [ applause ] >> you might not like the idea of having a classroom full of cell phones, that's what jeremiah is here to talk about. jeremiah is a high school student in new york. like most students, he's not allowed to bring his cell phone to the class with him. he thinks students could benefit from that. >> i have a question and a solution. question is, why is it that the teachers believe that having a mobile device in their hand will
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actually work for us when we cannot have one for ourselves? the solution that i have is a idea festival. my local ideas festival is my big idea. it's called envision u. composed of a team of six individuals, we have it so we have young men of color envisioning themselves in places of success and graduating from high school. i wanted to know how do you feel about student organizations that are sponsored by, let's say, foundations in. >> since we're talking about technology, let's tackle the cell phone issue first. is it possible to integrate cell phones and smartphones into the learning experience. >> i hope so. i think of this town hall as a big classroom. we're asking you to be tweeting and texting. i'm a little bit more on the human interaction side where i think we got to integrate. i sew want my students with me, talking to me, looking at meechlt you got to be a really great lecturer if your students have technology. you have to be more interesting
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than e-mail and facebook. there are ways to contribute. luke, i know you have a student with a question on this. >> that's right. i'm here with tiara. she's from the bronx. she has an interesting question and comment about technology in school. >> well, mostly a statement. basically, when i was in high school i was going to a technology-based high school, but when i got there, there were no type of technology whatsoever. so basically, i felt that i wasn't getting that help that i could have used. but touriduring my senior year, finally got computers, but then after that, i felt i could have did better my freshman and sophomore junior year and now the school doesn't exist because all the students, failed, dropped out. had to close down the school because of lack technology. >> angie, i wonder if what you're hearing here is about this resource deprivation that you talked about.
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>> i think that when it comes to and we're considering as you mentioned the middle class family and the ideal wealthy individuals, then yes, technology is a great source and it does open the world to us. but at times students, for example, where i live and where i come from, we don't have all of those resources. everybody is not able to access internet. everybody is not able to access computers. unless they are in the school building where there is that access, then that becomes difficult. and that's why that one-on-one interaction is important, that support system that the institution gives is important for students. >> absolutely. i'll give you one last word on this. do you have a sense of response to how this technology integrates with the lessons that adults can learn from kids? >> i do. i think that the important thing is that computers provide a lot of autonomy. people as far as the independence that jennifer mentioned, controlling the pace of our own learning. i feel like another important thing is it shifts the role.
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gives them a role as a facilitator. i find that more genuine and important in the learning world. i think it roles for teachers and students. >> those are useful intervention for me. i twant to tell you guys things. it's good to know, sometimes you got to sit back and listen and maybe part of how you all communicate with us as teachers is through the technology. when we come back, a living legend joins us here on stage. a man who made history sk just g to school. >> how you doing. my name is tyrone. has had an adverse effect on students. due to the longer school day is that some of us have jobs. we're already pressed for time. make time to do our homework, projects that we have and we also have other siblings we have to watch. now we have a longer school day with less time to do homework and less time to work. when some of our family does need our job because times are hard now. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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[ applause ] we've been speaking about finding solutions for today's education problems and being agents of change. now, creating samples of students who have taken courageous steps of taking changes, we need only to look into our own pasts. on september 25, 1957, nine brave young people helped integrate central high school in little rock, arkansas. they were subjected to a hostile crowd and had to be escorted by the screaming eagles of the 101st airborne. in spite of the odds, only senior among the little rock nine graduated in may of 1958 from the previously all-white school. his place in civil rights history is solidified. along with the proof that no matter one's age, anyone can make a lasting difference. it is truly an honor to have
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ernest green, one of the little rock nine, here with us now. [ applause ] >> it's pretty amazing that you can inspire that sort of reaction from a crowd of young people who were born so far after these events. >> who were, in fact, this week i will be back in little rock. there are eight of us who are still alive. and we're recognizing the city of little rock is recognizing the 25th of september, the date that president eisenhower sent in the 101st airborne to escort us into the school. so it's amazing.
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i think all the rap you hear about this generation not being involved, this debunks all of that. to each of you, i applaud you for your efforts in trying to reform education. you are the ultimate customer and you should have the ultimate sale of what it is you're receiving and i feel very proud to be a part of this. >> let me ask you about that language. i heard several of the students use that language of being the customer of the school. when i look at what the little rock nine did, i see you as citizens making a claim on the rights that you have, fundamentally, inherently as citizens. even for those who are not citizens, the dreamers have taught us, your rights as young people in this country. have we moved to some kind of different model when we call students customers instead of kids? >> i think they are both kids and customers.
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my view, my personal view was that as a student growing up in little rock, i wanted to change the environment around me. i mean, i saw -- i passed it every day. it was part of my community. i saw the impact of what was happening with the civil rights movement. i saw the emmett tale murder. the montgomery bus boycott. obviously the impact of the 1954 supreme court decision. all these events were going on and i said, as a student, if i have an opportunity to change things around me, i want to be part of that change. i see these young people both as customers and as change agents. they know more about the technology, they have an idea of what the labor market is looking like. they know -- in fact, they probably have more information than most of their parents.
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>> probably. luke, i know you have a question from a student. >> joshua from the bronx who has a question for mr. green. >> yes. i am a part of the urban ambassador program. it's a program that encourages young men of color to graduate high school and proceed to attend college. how do you feel about programs exist like this growing up in the civil rights era? >> i think all efforts to stimulate and have young people to understand the importance of education is necessary. we wouldn't have made it through that year at central without the support of large numbers of people and particularly parents and adults who saw this as a 15-year-old, 15, 16-year-old, you believe you can walk through a brick wall. >> right. >> there is nothing that can stop you. but if you're an adult having to pay the mortgage and the car payments and all of that, you realize that there are
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limitations. but we were supported by adults and community that saw few limitations and believed that the future could be a lot better than the present. >> are there any of the members of this panel who have a question for mr. green in. >> yes. i'm wondering what you think about socioeconomic and racial equity in education to the and how it's -- how some of the same problems still exist? >> in many communities, we see a reversal that skrools chools ar segregated than they were in 1957. i think the challenge for all of us in this room and in the broader audience is to try and have as many relationships beyond your comfort zone. the ability to reach out and get to know other people, other cultures, other ideas because once you get as an adult, the
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world that's expanding out there is very broad picture. >> i got to say, for you to characterize in part your activism as moving beyond your comfort zone has got to be the understatement of the century. all of us are in debt to what you and your colleagues made a choice to do and you're a testament to the fact that no matter how bleak a system looks, can be changed and it be changed by the young people who are part of it. up next our students ideas for solutions. stay with us. [ applause ] i attend the school of computer animation and design. i'm in the ninth grade. i think that a big problem in schools today is that classes aren't engaged in -- the solution i have for that is teachers should put some pizzazz in their presentations. put animations on a power point. have games in class. more experiments in science.
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[ applause ] we've been talking a little bit about the civil rights movement that changed the country. no one was more committed that young people could set their own course during the civil rights movement than ella baker. baker once said strong people don't need strong leaders. she was convinced that young people could develop and implement their own solutions. in the spirit of ella baker, let's hear from some students. mara, who is with you? >> melissa, i'm with madut. he's 13 years old. he's already published a book. it's called am i ready for
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middle school in as an author, what are some solutions you have to what we've discussed here today? >> a major thing for students in middle school is goal-setting. that was one thing that really helped me. being able to set goals and know where you're headed for and no what you're trying to accomplish in school is a good thing. i know i have four siblings. my family is very busy. and we're on a very tight schedule. me knowing like when i have to get my homework done, when i'm going to do sports was definitely a thing for me. goal-setting is a definite thing. >> great. thank you very much. >> scheduling, that's something we heard from the panel earlier, it's key for students to be on a predictable schedule. >> i read his book last night to my daughter who is starting middle school. luke, you've got some folks with you over there. >> i'm here with alex and ryan. alex wants to talk about an interesting program run by the
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special olympics called unified sports. >> well, me and my brother a couple years ago joined this program called unified sports. and they have volleyball and basketball. i feel like it's a great way for special needs kids like him to gain more friends throughout the school and stuff like that. i think that's really important for our country to grasp and -- >> does more need to be done to include special needs students in terms of extracurricular activities? we often say they're often the first to be forgotten. >> luke, i sew appreciate. such a great -- we talked about issues of class and of race. but it's a reminder that the issue of difference is much broader than that and our commitment to social mobility in public education means every kind of student. i appreciate that. mara, you have another student. >> i'm here with shaylah. she has a program for people who
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are not interested in education. >> i attend the fashion industries and my school mostly prepares us for college readiness and career readiness, but my solution is what about the kids who don't want to take the educational route where they go straight to college and they want a career. like i feel like there should be more options for those kids. i don't want people to forget about the kids. >> you've addressed this issue. what's your response sh. >> one of the most important things is we have to understand any kids have so many different abilities and desires. we have to not pigeonhole them into a traditional path. not every kid should go to college and there should be so many different options. we shouldn't be inat this gaiting vocational schools. allowing people to live their dreams. the question i like to pose, how can we make school the best hours of a kid's day. how can we make kids love going to school? that's when we know the system is finally working, when they
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love going to school each and every day. >> i love that as a measurement. [ applause ] >> i love that as a measurement, not your bubbles on your test and where you fall on the scan tron sheet but whether or not there's a passionate joy engagement with learning. >> jennifer, i know you came from carpe diem. you were studying in college human communication. >> that's right. i'm studying human commune sayings at arizona state university. >> as you're looking at the questions of mr. green's experience and the civil rights movement, what is it about human communication, despite learning on computers, compels you sm. >> it doesn't mean face to face communication. there are computer assisted forms of communication. that just ohuman communication interests me because i want to know why we communicate the way we do. why do we speak in the cadence
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that we do. why are certain techniques more effective than others. really, you know, the face to face factor at carpe diem is there. it's there. i mean -- >> there's a way in which all of it is part of our human communication. quickly to luke. do you have additional students for us? luke. do you have have some additional students for us? >> ceo, i'm here with travis and raheem and they have a comment about the common core program and a solution. what are you talking about? >> there's actually two things, but as for me -- my name is travis and i'm a member of the urban ambassadors and i go to queensgate with the health sciences. i noticed with common core and other things like that they put an emphasis on academics, which is one aspect of education, but i believe that there's more than just academics in terms of education. so there should be more programs implemented that help with social skills and leadership and unity like the urban ambassadors program. >> are we doing enough aside from academics to try and make students well-rounded in a complete way? >> yeah, i love that. i think that also goes back to
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our higher stakes testing question that we asked. we've got to create whole people to contribute to and be part of our society. okay, everybody, stay right there. a little more after the break. ♪ [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] introducing zzzquil sleep-aid. [ snoring ] [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] because sleep is a beautiful thing. [ birds chirping ] introducing zzzquil, the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil. ♪ i was skeptical at first. but after awhile even my girlfriend noticed a difference. [ male announcer ] rogaine is proven to help stop hair loss. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does!
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welcome back to the "education nation" student town hall. before we go i want to get in as many additional voices as we can. mara, you've got someone with you? >> yes, i'm here with ethan. ethan is a high school student and ethan has been waiting patiently then tire show to offer his solution. here we go. >> so i just wanted to speak a little bit about how teachers are not really being treated properly and respectfully nowadays in education across this world really and across the united states. [ applause ] and the reality is -- the reality is it's time to let teachers teach again. it's time to let them do what they were trained to do rather than let administrators tell them what to do who haven't been in teaching ever in their lives. time to let politicians take a step back, administrators take a step back, and let teachers have more free will in the classroom and teach the students because we're human beings. we're not products. and that's really important to us, not only as students but to the country for advancement and to develop in the world. >> i'm taking you home with me.
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[ applause ] luke. >> i'm here with helen. wants to talk about after-school programs. >> well, i just wanted to bring out that colleges like well-rounded kids, students, and i think after-school programs will help us be that. so i'm protesting more after huf school programs for -- they could help us stay out of trouble and learn more than what regular school teaches us. >> more funding for after-school programs. something we've heard amongst a lot of kids at this wonderful town hall. >> i absolutely love it. i love respect for teachers. i love the idea of students making your own way. and i also appreciate all of the leadership that i've seen both on this panel and in this audience. you all are extraordinary. i could stay with you for another hour. but i can't. so i want to thank my student panel for being here today. adora, carlos, jennifer, nakyl, and angie. and of course thanks to our very special guest, ernest green. luke russert and mara -- i'm
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going to get this right, mara. mara schiavocampo. and thanks to all of you for being art of our first education nation town hall. thanks to youtube education for helping us collect the student videos you've seen throughout the morning. and also thanks to all of you here in the audience. at the end of this day i am convinced of one thing -- when students suggest education solutions, they are motivated by the desire to have better schools and brighter futures. you are not looking to turn a profit. or protect an entrenched interest. or advance a political candidate. you know that you are entitled to a quality education. so let's make sure that your voices get heard. please visit the website,, and continue to make your voices heard. offer your ideas and solutions. i'm melissa harris-perry, and thanks for joining us. [ applause ]
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bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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